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Roses and thorns: 12/18/11




A rose to the cheerful horde of volunteers, organizers and donors who Saturday prepared and delivered 5,000 meals in what has been dubbed the Celebration of Hope outreach. The massive effort, organized by Liz and Brett Robinson, was fueled by a coalition of churches and generous contributors. Using Hunt School as a base of operations, volunteers spent the best part of the day in this effort. When we looked in on operations Saturday morning, we observed ample evidence of good cheer, bringing to mind a verse from Luke: "Give and it shall be given to you." 




A rose to local homeowners who opened their homes Saturday for the Holiday Home Tour presented by the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation. Tours showcased historic homes Ole Magnolia, Waverley Mansion, Amzi Love, Rosedale, Ole Magnolia and Temple Heights. Such tours offer community members and tourists a chance to see what these beautiful homes are like inside. Owners work year-round to keep these historic treasures beautiful, and many try to stay as true to their period as possible. It is truly a labor of love. Thank you for sharing your homes. 




Roses to Leeann Williams, Steve Jenkins, Christy Culpepper Hollier and others who have worked to ensure members of the 223rd Engineer Battalion, which deployed from West Point to Afghanistan two months ago, have warm blankets. Williams recruited the help of her network of Facebook friends to collect blankets for the soldiers. Temperatures in Afghanistan are below freezing at night, and many of the soldiers have reported to their families they are without warm blankets or heaters. Williams is also sending candy, magazines, puzzle books, cards, pens, notebooks and envelopes. These small things we tend to take for granted mean a lot to our men and women serving overseas. 




A rose to Freddie Bardley and other organizers of Starkville's Clover Street Project. The nonprofit agency serves underprivileged youth throughout the Golden Triangle and is especially active during the holidays. Saturday, the Clover Street Project, along with Southern Greens Keepers and the Hilton Garden Inn hosted Breakfast with Santa to raise money for scholarships. The Clover Street Project will offer three $1,000 scholarships during the holidays. Each year, the Clover Street Project adopts 26 families to help furnish Christmas gifts. The Clover Street Project served 4,270 meals last year during a summer feeding program and routinely hosts movie nights. 




A thorn to the Columbus City Council for not offering any discussion before or after naming a new police chief on Monday night. The City Council voted Interim Police Chief Selvain McQueen to the position full-time in a meeting that lasted less than three minutes. And while we wish McQueen all the best, the citizens of Columbus deserve some conversation from their leadership about how the decision was made. The months-long process of selecting a police chief has drawn much criticism and has been heavily watched by the community. We would like to have seen the city address those issues head on, offering more closure to the situation and attempting to restore confidence. 




A rose to Columbus native Corey Sanders, who is expected to be a defensive back when the Mississippi Hound Dogs kick off their inaugural season in the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Training camp will begin Feb. 15, and the season opener against the Rome Rampage will be March 3 at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo. 


After playing high school ball at New Hope High School and at Columbus High, Sanders played at Northeast Mississippi Community College. After brief stints at Mississippi Valley State University and Mississippi State, Sanders completed his college career at McPherson College, a NAIA school in McPherson, Kan. Good luck to Sanders and the Hound Dogs.



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